Children whose mothers took acetaminophen during pregnancy may be at a higher risk for developing hyperkinetic disorders (HKDs) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-like behavioral problems, according to a study published online on February 24 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Zeyan Liew, MPH, from the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues studied data from 64,322 live-born children and mothers enrolled in the Danish National Birth Cohort from 1996–2002. The team analyzed parental reports of behavioral problems in children at age 7, HKD diagnoses from the Danish National Hospital Registry or the Danish Psychiatric Central Registry before 2011, and children’s ADHD prescriptions the Danish Prescription Registry.

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Over 50% of mothers reported taking acetaminophen during pregnancy. Children whose mothers used acetaminophen were at a higher risk for having ADHD-like behaviors, receiving a hospital diagnosis of HKD, or being prescribed ADHD medications. Use of acetaminophen for more than a trimester had a stronger association and response trends were found with increasing use of acetaminophen during pregnancy for HKDs and ADHD-like behaviors.

For more information, visit the JAMA Pediatrics website.